The Singer of PI
She sang in the choir, always trying to understand the meaning of the songs. She felt they were a mystery far beyond her capacity to understand. But she also knew that, just like in her yoga class where if she kept doing that one pose she would master it, she would eventually get closer and closer to understanding the more she sang. And that turned out to be true. She never did completely understand, but over time she became better at hearing, interpreting, and understanding. She became a leader in the choir, helping the less experienced members learn these same mysteries. As a result she became beloved by all.
Joan the Baptist – A Short Story
The woman inside her mind in the balcony alone wondering if she’s changed for the better by being a Baptist or not. And all the people below her wondering who she is and what she is doing in the church dressed like that.
Drawing and short story © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
As some of you know, I draw in church. I have oodles of sketchbooks full of drawings. Sometimes I start with real person, other times I make something up out of my head.
We usually sit about 3-6 rows back on the right side of the sanctuary and I have a pretty good view of the pianist playing in the orchestra or accompanying the choir.
She’s become my go-to model and I suppose I have drawn her at least 100 times over the years.
Years ago I showed her the drawings in a prior sketchbook. I thought she enjoyed them and was flattered.
My wife thought she was probably creeped out. It was probably something in between.
I just finished a sketchbook that took close to 2 years to fill. Since she is a recurring theme I thought I would show you those drawings.
I drew her from the balcony a few times. Linda was in the choir so I moved around the sanctuary, sitting wherever I wanted just for fun.
People who sit still for long periods of time in the same position are good models.
She is a wonderful starting point for my imagination, a muse. I thank her for that.
Drawings by Marty Coleman
Practicing at a Church I Usually Don’t Go To – A Short Short Poem
She is walking out of church with very long legs and very short shorts.
I am behind her, noticing, with a remnant, a wafting of judgment,
That I discard and think instead,
You are wonderful, as are your friends, and I love you.
Drawing and Poem by Marty Coleman
Who’s at Church on the Last Day of the Year Today – A Poem
She was alone,
But she smiled at a friend.
Her makeup was dark,
But her smile was light.
He had a ponytail,
But he took it out.
He raised his hands
And said things out loud.
She had on a long skirt that swayed
And raised her hands as well.
But they were facing her,
And then she put glasses on.
He wore red pants,
He didn’t sing all the songs
And he kept his scarf on and
He gave no money.
Marty Coleman, 12/29/13 – 1/3/14
I was going to show her the drawing as I left the balcony at church but she saw some friends and I didn’t want to interrupt. I saw her on the way out of the church a while later and showed it to her then. She seemed happy about it, though one can never be completely sure of those things.
I finished my sketchbook recently. It took 2 years, 3 months and 25 days to draw in 117 pages. I received the sketchbook as a gift from my nephews at Christmas, 2004. But I had a backlog of sketchbooks and didn’t start it until March, 2nd, 2008. It’s done now and this is the final drawing in it, June 27th, 2010.
I love filling up one of them, counting the pages until the end, wondering what my final drawing will be. I have about 29 completed sketchbooks on my shelves, dating back to 1972, when I was in high school. I have some that are about 2 inches by 3 inches, filled with little color drawings. I have others that are in ornate leather bound covers. One yet to be used sketchbook was hand made by my daughter and is covered in fabric and resides inside a fabric bag. I have some filled with adolescent crazed meanderings, some have poems. Some have sincere notes about God or no God. Others have naked people.
I have some that include sketches for larger art pieces I created, some I never did finish. Some have diagrams of house layouts with notes as to what I am going to do in each room. Some have addresses and phone numbers and emails of people I drew. I would scan the drawing and send it to them. If I ever did a drawing of you and I didn’t send you a copy of it, tell me and I will try to find it.
I might try to post one drawing a week, one from each sketchbook, starting from the beginning. Would you like that?
I am also going to start working on some larger images in the near future, non-photographic. I will keep you informed.
Drawing by Marty Coleman, 1st Baptist Church, Tulsa, OK 6/27/10
It’s ‘I draw in Church Sunday’ here at The Napkin Dad Daily. I draw a lot. In bookstores, trains, plains, waiting rooms, and my favorite place to draw, church.
She sat in front of us on a warm summer day at church. I enjoyed seeing the cosmic message from the pulpit on the skin of a person right in front of me.
Drawn at All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma. 6/24/07 © Marty Coleman
I love seeing people all in a row with strikingly different hair, skin, fabric and style. Church is perfect for that sort of people watching.
Drawing © Marty Coleman
Drawn 7/12/09, All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK
It’s ‘I draw in church’ Sunday. Sometimes I am not drawing a scene or person in church, but an idea that germinated from the sermon. This one had something to do with prayer, but I don’t remember the specifics (it was 19 years ago, give me a break).
Drawn 3/10/91 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, San Jose, California. We went to ‘WesPres’ for almost a decade before we moved to Tulsa in 1994. It had the usual amount of drama, Pastors coming and going, etc. but more importantly it had a fantastic group of friends who supported us and our children and allowed us to support them as well. I look back on those days fondly.
Drawing © Marty Coleman